Today’s Reading: John 18:10-11 (NIV)
10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Why did Jesus have to die?
Simon Peter knew what was coming, but he didn’t like it, not even a little bit. I imagine that is why he drew his sword in defense of the Master. Peter is a man with great passion. He cared deeply for the Lord, and for his friends, the men and women he walked beside during the three year mission trip. The Holy Spirit had supernaturally revealed to Peter that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Son of the living God. Still, the Master’s words were about to come to fruition. He was going to die, just as He said. Maybe Peter thought he could change the situation with a little diversion. In that moment, Peter would have preferred to die himself rather than watch the Romans take the One He loves. Peter allowed his passion to move ahead of God’s will, and it took him to a place he would rather not be.
I’m sure Peter didn’t know anything about me twenty-one centuries ago. He didn’t know that I would need the Lord to save me from my sin. Jesus said He came for this very purpose; to fulfill the Father’s plan for the salvation of the world. Peter reacted out of fear, when he took his sword and sliced the servant’s ear. He didn’t want the Roman guard to take the Lord away. I don’t blame Peter him for reacting like that. I might have done the exact same thing had I been standing next to Jesus that night in the garden.
Jesus knew that I would need His gift of salvation in 2008. If it were not for His willingness to take my sins upon Himself and endure the agony of the cross, I would have no future; no hope. Jesus came to die for me and He died for you too, and for all who comes after us. The day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Knowing all this doesn’t make it any easier. Peter, the Rock, took matters into His own hands instead of waiting for the Lord. Sometimes, we can step in the way of God’s master plan. It is time we learn to get out of the way and let God be God.
Why did Jesus have to die? He died to save the world; He died to save you and me. And that, my friends, is the best gift we will ever receive. Will you accept His gift today?
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
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